CLEVELAND - Cyntia Spadafore counts on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver important medical and work-related documents to her Cleveland home.
But last week Spadafore reports her mail delivery stopped abruptly without warning. After going eight days without mail service, Spadafore finally called her local post office and was given an explanation she never expected to hear.
The post office told her mail service was suspended because her postal carrier felt threatened by her 7-pound dog, "Budman." Postal officials gave her further explanation by phone.
"They said you're on indefinite hold until you put a box on the street. Have you put your box on the street?" Spadafore said. "I'm like what box and what street? I've not heard anything about this ever."
Spadafore told NewsChannel5 she was given no warning about the behavior of her dog and was given no notice her delivery had been suspended. Spadafore contacted 5 On Your Side and then met with post officials days later. Her mail delivery was finally restored on Aug. 26.
5 On Your Side contacted U.S. Postal Service headquarters to get further explanation on this case. USPS Regional Spokesman David Van Allen explained Spadafore's mail carrier felt like she could be in danger.
"We do have to cut off mail delivery in such a case when we're worried about the safety of our carrier," Van Allen said. "If a customer doesn't receive mail for a couple of days, they should contact their post office."
"We take the safety of our carriers very seriously. All dogs bite regardless of their size, and can cause damage. In fact, in Cleveland this year alone, we've had 47 dog incidents, 47 just in this year. That's six a month where a carrier suffered some kind of harm from a dog incident."
Van Allen told NewsChannel5 the post office is in the process of working out a solution with Spadafore. She is hoping she won't have to move her mailbox out to the street because she's worried about the safety and privacy of her mail.
"I'm hoping to get a resolution, because I cannot put a box on the street," Spadafore said. "With all the traffic, and all the children going to the lake, I don't think that's a good idea."
Meanwhile, the USPS is offering tips to dog owners on this flier that could help them prevent an interruption in mail delivery.
Cleveland ranks 11th in the nation when it comes to dog/postal carrier attacks .